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Posts Tagged ‘focus’

Staying Focused

Thanks to all who sent in their answers to the question in my previous post which was “If you were attacked by a zombie and didn’t have a “conventional” weapon handy, which non-conventional weapon would you use?” You can still answer it if you haven’t yet. Maybe I’ll use a few suggestions in my current zombie apocalyptic novel.

So, I have to be honest here. This past weekend, I didn’t write. At all. I think I may have typed a sentence or two but nothing worth making note of. Am I disappointed in myself? Perhaps a little, but I’ve realized something. Even writers need days off.. sometimes weekends off. I’m not the kind of writer who is able to write all day, every day. I’d fry my brain. If you are one of those writers who can continuously write without a lot of breaks, well, I respect you. Haha.

But here’s the thing. Whether or not, I’m writing, I’m always thinking about my story. My characters are always running around in my head, sometimes chasing zombies. I think of what to do with them next, where to take them, who they see, etc. It’s not like I’m not “working” on the book. I’m just not physically writing it.

I read a book recently and it had a chapter about creativity and sometimes losing it. It said that there will be times when your creativity need a little break. It can be over worked too. That’s when you take a step back and get some clarity. Stay focused but don’t beat yourself up if you stumble a bit.

We shouldn’t rush the process. Writing a book is like a marathon and shouldn’t be treated like a sprint. Take your time if you have to but keep moving. Take time to enjoy the scenery and the process. Remain focused on the finish line because we can all get there. It just takes time, but I’m sure it’s worth it.

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Imagine sitting at your desk writing away on the story that you’ve been working on for months. You seem to be making great progress and are excited for the next day when you continue on.  That day comes and you find yourself sitting in the same spot with what you left off in front of you, waiting to be continued. Everything is the same, except for one thing. Suddenly, the words aren’t coming out. Your brain is going a million miles a minute and you can’t seem to get the creative juices flowing. What has happened? Why now?

What has happened is this: Writing block has hit and you’ve lost your focus.

It’s happened to everyone at one point (or several in most cases). You can feel like you are getting so much done and then without warning, something happens and you become stuck. Sometimes it only lasts for a day or two, and then it can drag on for months (if you let it).  You could let frustration take over and never get over the slump, or you could take a few deep breaths and learn how you get that focus back.

For me, life can definitely get in the way of my writing process and once I get back to it, it takes awhile to get it back to normal.  These are the things that I do when I lose my focus:

  1. Turn on some music (it helps calm me)
  2. Read a book for some creative inspiration
  3. Try a new environment to write in. Go outside (weather permitting) or go into another room. Try something new.
  4. Look over your notes and re-introduce yourself to the story. Sometimes it just takes a little familiarizing to get back on point.
  5. Take a walk (yet another weather permitting moment).

No matter what, don’t give up. Sometimes all it takes is for you to step back and put it away for an hour… a day.. a week. Whatever it takes to clear your head and find the focus again. Be patient and know that it happens to everyone. We all have to deal with it. I know writers who have given up completely, saying that the reason was they just couldn’t find the words anymore. They lost focus and just surrendered. Don’t do that. Hang in there and it will find its way back into your writing.

If you have any tips for getting your focus back into your writing progress, please let us know in the comments section below. I would love to hear how other writers work out their writer’s block!

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I’ve been getting e-mails that several people are off on vacation (it is that time of year to get those vacations finished lol), so they haven’t been able to post their stories yet. Other people are kind of M.I.A at the moment with their stories, but life can be hectic.  I completely understand, so I’ll be putting up the complete list of all participants at a later date. We do have two wonderful people who already have theirs up. So, go check out Lua’s and Cassandra’s blogs to read what they have come up with.

Everyone else, well, we’ll wait for them haha.

Let’s move on from that. Ever since I wrote the story I posted for my blog fest (see previous post if you missed it), it has really brought back my love for writing short stories. Before that, it had been over a year since I had written a short story.  The majority of my writing has been those kinds of stories. I didn’t start writing novels until my senior year of high school. That’s when I decided to step things up and really buckle down as a writer. I never forgot my short story past, but it wasn’t really a focus of mine until I took Creative Writing my senior year of college last year.

There’s just something fun and magical about writing short stories. I don’t think they’re as stressful as writing a novel, but then, you really have to focus on getting the point across in the plot quicker than you would writing a novel. I embraced the challenge when I wrote “The Dock”.  It was almost therapeutic for me after all the stress my novel was giving me. It gave me the opportunity to stretch my writing skills further and prove that I can write. I can do this.

I hope that for everyone who participated in this fest that it did the same thing for you. I hope it helped inspire you as a writer and made you believe in yourself even more. You’re all great writers who deserve that.

Sometimes, I lose sight of that. I forget who I am as a writer and the skills that I have. I focus too much on the negatives and forget about the positives.  Today, let’s all focus on the positives. Let’s start this week off on a positive note by believing in ourselves as writers!

I think it may be a good week… 🙂

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Now that I’m back from my three-day trip, it’s back to my regular writing schedule. I thought it would be easy to get back into it.

I was wrong.

The story hasn’t left me. It’s still there. I’m just still wore out from traveling and going to Warped Tour, an all-day music festival in over 100 degree heat. Fun..but not fun at the same time haha.

I knew I needed a break to give myself a rest from writing and clear my head. There were times when I lost focus and had to really push myself to keep going. This trip helped bring things into a different perspective for me. While attending the same Warped Tour date I did, a 26-year-old guy died. They  haven’t officially said why, but it’s pretty certain it was due to the excessive heat. It was brutally hot that day. There were times when I was dripping with sweat. If you didn’t drink tons of water, you were going to be in lots of trouble…and it happened. Unfortunately.

I’ve been thinking about the guy for the past couple of days.  He was the same age as me. He just wanted to go to this and have a good time. Like me. It makes you realize that you just never know what’s going to happen. Life is too short to waste with worries and stress. You have to let all the frustration go and push for what you want now. Because you never know what is going to happen.

I didn’t think this trip would be such a thought-provoking event, but it has been. I feel so bad for this guy’s family and friends because I know they are suffering right now. I’m sure this guy had dreams he wanted to accomplish.  I keep thinking about who he could have been and what he could have accomplished. He was so young. I didn’t even know the guy and I still feel horrible about it.  You don’t go to these things expecting that to happen.

When I started this blog, it wasn’t only to talk about my experiences of trying to write my first book and get published. It was also to help inspire others to go for their own dreams and never give up. Don’t put off what you want to do tomorrow. Start right now. Life is too short not to, you know?

Maybe this trip helped me more than I thought..

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